Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and I've been admiring a neighbor's strung patio lights for some time. So I finally hung my own.
Target is selling patio lights for about $12 a string. I also purchased a 20' outdoor extension cord, some pond pebbles and an 8' pole at Home Depot. Martha Stewart helped me figure out how to anchor the pole. (She has some other nice outdoor lighting ideas as well).
First I salvaged a 5-gallon pail and drilled holes in the bottom to allow for water drainage.
I had someone hold the pole in the middle of the bucket while I poured the pond pebbles. The bag of pebbles was so heavy I could barely lift it, which seemed ideal for anchoring. But the pole still moved side to side, so I found some large rocks in the yard to buttress the pole.
I left several inches from the top of the bucket for potting soil, where I planted wheatgrass seeds. I like the idea of furry green grass springing from the base of my anchor.
I attached the outdoor extension cord outlet to the house using two screw eyes and plastic fastener strips. I screwed 3 small hooks into the house and used plastic fasteners to anchor the 3 strands apart from one another. I used the same technique to run the extension cord along the eaves to render it less noticeable.
We really enjoyed the lights during our Memorial Day cocktail party last night.